STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team edged the State University of New York at Oneonta, 65-61, in a thrilling championship game at the Tournament of Heroes on Saturday afternoon. Chad Barcikowski and Blair Davis knocked down four clutch free-throws over the final 55 seconds of play to help deliver the victory and give the Sea Gulls their first winning streak since winning three straight contests back in early December.
For their efforts both Barcikowski and Davis were named to the all-tournament team with Barcikowski garnering tournament MVP honors.
Four different players notched double-digit scoring performances on Saturday afternoon led by Barcikowski's team-high 20 points and eight rebounds. Blair Davis scored a season-best 15 points while Gary Briddell and J.P. Krotulis netted 13 and 10 respectively.
Salisbury (7-4) had to hold off a strong second half surge by the Red Dragons. SUNY Oneonta (6-4) tallied 36 second half points after being held to just 25 in the opening 20 minutes of action. The Red Dragons posted a 54.5 shooting percentage from three-point range in the second half to aid in the comeback but the Sea Gulls defesne stood strong to hold on for the win.
Holding a slim 59-58 lead with 2:04 left to play Davis knocked down his sixth basket of the afternoon to push the Salisbury lead to three. However, SUNY Oneonta fought back to level the score line at 61-61 with less than two-minutes to play.
Barcikowski managed to draw a foul with just over 50 seconds left to play to go to the free-throw line with a chance to take the lead. He knocked down both attempts to push the lead to two but the Red Dragons still had a chance to tie or take the lead. A three-point attempt was off the mark but a maroon and gold turnover gave Oneonta new life.
Davis stepped up and recorded the team's 11th steal of the day and knocked both ensuing free-throws to secure the hard fought win. As a team Salisbury recorded 11 steals and forced 18 Red Dragon turnovers to aid in the victory.
Salisbury returns to action on Wednesday, January 3 when it hosts York College of Pennsylvania. The game is slated to start at 7:30 p.m. and will be a rematch of last season's thrilling CAC Tournament Semifinal, which the Sea Gulls won in double-overtime.